This morning I woke up at 5 am, to read and finish The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I set my coffee pot, so first thing I could drink my coffee, and be alone with Evelyn. This book has owned my brain for the last couple days. All I thought about was Evelyn!! First off, I was completely drawn in my the cover. It has an old Hollywood glamour that is striking, and then the title just makes a reader go… hmmmmm. I had been seeing this book all over Instagram, and upon hearing the raving reviews I put it on hold at the library. And guess what?? I was the first person to get my hands on this book!
“I’m Evelyn.” She reaches out and takes my hand, shaking it. It strikes me as a unique form of power to say your own name when you know that everyone in the room, everyone in the world, already knows it.
Evelyn Hugo, formerly Evelyn Herrera, is a movie star who was once at the top of the game. She grew up poor in New York City as the daughter of Cuban immigrants. From a young age, she is strikingly beautiful. Tall, slim, well-endowed, and with a face that is almost unbelievably beautiful, she knows how to get what she wants with what she is. As she begins her quest to be famous, you also start to realize that Evelyn is one bad ass woman. She is now aging, and at the end of her life, and she decides she wants to tell her story. And she wants only Monique Grant to do it.
Monique is a young, and eager writer looking for her big break. Her boss tells her that Evelyn Hugo wants their company to pubish an article, and Evelyn only wants Monique to do it. When Monique arrives at Evelyn’s to start her piece, she is shocked to learn that Evelyn is not really interested in an article, but wants her to publish a biography on her life. This is a story that is about an abusive childhood, seven husbands, and different types of love. It’s a story that makes it clear that there is a good side, and a bad side in all people. No one is capable of being all of one or the other.
As Evelyn and Monique’s dialogue gets deeper and deeper, Monique begins to feel a real connection with her. She, like everyone else, is captivated by Evelyn. It isn’t until the conclusion of the story that you see why Evelyn has summoned her to tell this story.
“So do yourself a favor and learn how to grab life by the balls, dear. Don’t be so tied up by trying to do the right thing, when the smart thing is so painfully clear.”
When I read the description of this novel, I did not think it is something I would be interested in. But I fell victim to all the hype online, and began to feel left out! So when I started to read it I, like Monique, was capivated by Evelyn Hugo. The glitz, the glamour, and the fame were all to sparkly to ignore. But as the story progresses, you see that this is a story about seeing one thing, but it being something else entirely different under the facade. Evelyn’s character is deeply profound, and full of layers. And as you see the layers start to peel away, the writing also deepens.
You should know this about the rich: they always want to get richer. It is never boring, getting your hands on more money.
A couple great things about this novel besides the story are; it’s full of newspaper clippings, and beautiful love letters. I love a novel that includes these types of things.
I haven’t cried in a novel in a really long time. But this one got me. I was sitting on the couch, with my two kiddies playing all around me, sobbing. I hope you read this book, and fall as deeply into the story and characters as I did. There is something so powerful about being moved to tears by a great book.
All you Podcast listeners out there… I have searched high and low unsuccessfully for an interview with Taylor Jenkins Reid about this book. If you know of one, please drop me a line in the comments! During this search I did find an intriguing episode from Coupla Questions featuring Taylor and her husband speaking about how they fell in love and stay in love.
Anywho, that’s all for today friends! Please leave me a comment with your thoughts, and happy reading!